More women online means higher GDP; UN says female power can give world economy a big boost

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Updated: April 25, 2019 5:31:46 PM

Bringing gender parity in the development of a nation has a vast bearing on the growth, competitiveness and future-readiness of economies and businesses worldwide.

Internet is a powerful tool in the hands of people bringing revolution in our day-to-day lives and providing various opportunities that never existed before. And, making it accessible to more women could give a significant boost to the world’s GDP, says a recent research. “Bringing 600 million more women and girls online could boost global GDP by as much as $18 billion,” according to the International Telecommunication Union, a specialised agency of the United Nations.

Internet access gives women the opportunity to find jobs, start businesses and use education, health and financial services, said the ITU.

However, attaining the target seems challenging given 250 million fewer women than men use the Internet worldwide as per the ITU report. Further, in the least developed countries, only one out of seven women use the internet, versus one out of five men.

According to the Global Gender Gap Report 2018 released by the World Economic Forum, despite the global gender gap narrowing slightly in 2018, proportionately fewer women than men are participating in the labour force or in political life. Moreover, even though the overall economic gender gap narrowed in 2018, yet access to health and education, and political empowerment suffered reversals.

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Bringing gender parity in the development of a nation has a vast bearing on the growth, competitiveness and future-readiness of economies and businesses worldwide, said the World Economic Forum report.

Moreover, advances in information and communication technologies shows a revolution in the way people interact with each other, access information, communicate, access services, work, live, by acting as a facilitator for easier, faster, wider communication and access to information, at all levels (local, regional, national and international).

In the light of these developments, there is a strong case for bringing more women online by improving its access and literacy “When women are empowered in this way, everyone benefits,” according to the International Telecommunication Union.

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